Guyana is one of four countries that will benefit from a €2.7m ($735m) regional project aimed at supporting the reduction of greenhouse gases linked to deforestation and forest degradation.
A statement from Guy-ana’s Office of Climate Change (OCC) said that the project is supported by the European Regional Develop-ment Fund, the French Global Environment Facility and the local government of French Guiana. “The project’s overarching aim is to support the reduction of Greenhouse Gases (GhG) associated with deforestation and forest degradation through information sharing and strengthening the technical capacity of REDD+ (Reducing Emis-sions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) focal points and forest service institutions in Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana and the Brazilian State of Amapa,” the statement said.
The OCC said that a technical platform aimed at supporting estimation of land cover changes and forest carbon stocks; identifying deforestation and degradation drivers; and modelling land use changes and socio-economic development, will be established.
The statement said that at the first meeting of the project held on August 8 in Paramaribo, adviser to the president and head of the OCC, Shyam Nokta recognised the genesis of the project which was initiated out of a meeting by the then president of Guyana, Bharrat Jagdeo and the environment ministers of France and Suriname at the United Nations Climate Conference in Poznan in December 2008.
Nokta provided an overview of Guyana’s REDD+ initiatives under the framework of the Low Carbon Development Strate-gy and with support from the Kingdom of Norway. He emphasised the critical role the Monitoring, Reporting and Verifi-cation (MRV) system has played in Guyana’s REDD+ model in helping to determine with greater accuracy the extent of forest cover and drivers of deforestation and the important role a robust MRV system will play in future REDD+ mechanism, the OCC said.
In lending support to the project, he outlined Guyana’s willingness to share experiences and lessons learnt while at the same time seeking support from the project to continue to build a REDD+ model, it added. Guyana’s OCC and the Guyana Forestry Commission are represented on the project’s Steering Com-mittee.
The Guiana Shield is one of the largest blocks of primary tropical forest worldwide as well as a region with very high biodiversity.
With 90 per cent covered with intact rainforest, the Guiana Shield plays a critical role in mitigating climate change and in water regulation of the Amazon and Orinoco basins.